Barbie wrapped in Rainforest destruction scandal, tiger outrage

Feature story - June 7, 2011
Greenpeace is taking on Barbie, the world’s most famous toy, because of her involvement in rainforest destruction in Indonesia. And Ken has dumped her because she is wiping out the habitat of endangered tigers and ourang-utans.

 The campaign against Barbie and Mattel, the company that makes her, kicked off in a suburb of Los Angeles. The global Greenpeace campaign is designed to stop Mattel and other toy companies from driving deforestation in Indonesia.

Greenpeace forensic testing shows that Mattel’s packaging for Barbie is made from timber logged in the rainforests of Indonesia, home to endangered species including the Sumatran tiger and the ourang-utan.

The real bad guy in this failed love story is Asia Pulp and Paper , a part of the notorious Sinar Mas Group, that has been exposed many times for destroying Indonesia’s rainforests to make products such as packaging.

Besides forensic testing, Greenpeace used a combination of ‘in country’ investigation, mapping data and traced company certificates to show that Mattel,  along with other toy companies like Hasbro, Disney and Lego, are using packaging and paper from Asia Pulp and Paper.

In Canada, Asia Pulp and Paper has gone on a buying and investment spree of at least $300 million. Its global empire got a big boost with the purchase of five pulp mills from B.C. to Nova Scotia. These mills produce more than 1.5 million tonnes of pulp a year and are key Canadian assets.

Asia Pulp and Paper has shifted the operations of its Canadian mills and now ships most of its pulp production to its own Chinese mills. The Chinese mills mix the pulp with tropical hardwoods to make tissue products and other paper products, including packaging. These products are being shipped back to North America for sale and use here. The great transportation distances alone cause a significant climate-change footprint for these products.

Greenpeace believes that Mattel must stop wrapping the world’s most famous toy in rainforest destruction and stop using packaging from Asia Pulp and Paper. The company has been exposed many times for wrecking Indonesia’s rainforests to make throw-away packaging.

The Indonesian rainforest is disappearing at one of the fastest rates of forest destruction in the world. The Indonesian government estimates that more than one million hectares of rainforest are being cleared annually. As well, every year, 1.8 million tonnes of climate-changing emissions are released by the degradation and burning of Indonesia’s peatlands alone. Indonesia is now the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases due to deforestation and fires.

Asia Pulp and Paper treats Indonesia as nothing more than a vast disposable asset, ignoring the wishes of local communities and dodging taxes and debts. The company owes more than $10 billion to creditors

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More on Greenpeace forensic testing, mapping data and research that shows Mattel and other toy companies use Asia Pulp and Paper packaging with rainforest timber

How Sinar Mas is pulping the planet